Monday, October 31, 2016

The Dairy Barn, Athens, Ohio

My friend and I went to The Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio to see a contemporary quilt show entitled, "Mastery - Sustaining Momentum".  It was a trip that I had wanted to take for a long time, but never quite got to Ohio.  Since we were already there to take a class from Nancy Crow, we made the drive down.

The Dairy Barn is an old converted Barn near the college campus in Athens.  It has been the location for Quilt National since 1979.   It is the premier location for contemporary quilt exhibits.

This show was curated by Nancy Crow and includes 3 large works by each artist.  One of our local friends was invited to participate in the show, so we had an extra special reason to catch the exhibit while we were there.  No pictures are allowed in the exhibit, so I can't post any to show you, but there are YouTube videos of all of the quilters explaining their process and showing their quilts.  Get over there and have a look.  Just search on "Mastery Sustaining Momentum The Dairy Barn" or try this link Mastery Sustaining Momentum and they should all come up.

So here is a picture of The Dairy Barn from outside.   Lovely, don't you think?

The Dairy Barn

Monday, October 24, 2016

Testing rulers and quilting techniques on a charity quilt

I made a quilt  top while we were traveling in our trailer this summer.  I loved the quilt top when it was done, but just don't need another quilt to store in the closet.  So I decided to quilt it and offer it to our guild for a charity auction.  I'm sorry that this picture is so bad.  It actually is quite perky and sweet.
Modern Charity Quilt

When it was time to quilt it, I had a newly acquired  set of quilting rulers and had watched a few more YouTube videos on quilt designs.  This quilt seemed like a good spot to do some practicing.

I first stitched in the ditch around all of the inside borders with my new straight edge ruler.  It's been designed just for ditch work, and this made the stitching go so much faster and stayed straight.  I now know whey stitching in the ditch is so hard for people with a long arm.  Without pressure on the hopping foot, like you would have on a sewing machine, it's very hard to keep everything right on the money.  But the ruler, for sure, is very helpful.

Next I did a bunch of free form stitching to try to get the hang of the stitch regulator.  I varied the stopping (or coasting) speed, and decided I liked it set pretty fast - at 300.  I think you'd have to be a very slow quilter (which I am NOT) or a beginner to sew with zero or a low starting speed.  The faster speed does give you a few stitches in place when you stop to reposition your hands, so this will be an ongoing lesson.

Then I used my inside ruler to put some circles in the outside border.  This ruler is a blast to use and I love how fast it is to do small circles.

I hope you continually try out new quilting motifs and gadgets too!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Basting on the Design Wall

I have often said that I haven't invented much in the quilting world, and this is another one of those great ideas that someone else showed me how to do.  I think it was on a quilting show, but it's been so many years now, that I can't remember who the originator was.  Leave me a comment if  you know!

I use my design wall to spray baste most of my quilts now.  It's so much better than crawling around on the floor, running around a huge table, or hand basting on a full out frame.  The only ones that I don't do are the ones that I send out for long arm quilting (because they don't need to be basted).

OK, so here's how it's done.  Put up your backing and smooth it out on the design wall - wrong side facing you.  Pin it at the top and in a few places down the side.  Next place your batting on top of the backing and smooth it out.  Finally, put up your quilt top and  square it up to the backing.  Smooth this layer out.  Then put in pins at the vertical midpoint, spacing them about 4-5" apart.  It's hard to see the pins in this picture - they're half way down from the top. 

Place some paper at the bottom of the design wall to catch the over-spray.  I use freezer paper and save it for the next time.  If you're concerned about getting the spray on your design wall, pin some newspaper around the edges.  (I don't do this step anymore, and am careful not to spray too close to the edge).

Keeping the pins at the top in the backing, drop the top half of the quilt and the batting.  The pins that you placed at the midpoint will hold these layers suspended.  Spray basting spray on the top half of the backing.  Carefully smooth back up the batting, starting at the center and working it out towards the edges and corners.  Spray the top half of the batting, then carefully smooth up the quilt top.  Since the basting spray is temporary - like a sticky note - you can pull up and reposition the batting and/or top to remove all wrinkles.  

Next, pull up the quilt top and batting from the lower half and put in a few pins to hold them up.  Spray the backing,  then smooth down the batting.  Spray the backing, then smooth down the quilt top. 

Remove all the pins, and take the quilt sandwich off the design wall.  Give it a light pressing on both sides.  If the quilt is somewhat large, I will either add some safety pins, or I will machine baste the quilt with dissolving thread.  Now you're ready to do the quilting!   

It's such a fast technique. I hope you give it a try!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Mt Hood Community College exhibit of High Fiber Diet

I made it out to Mt. Hood Community College to see the High Fiber Diet exhibit.  I love the exhibit space and took quite  a few pictures.  Here is an overview of the show, and a few of the pieces close up.  

The museum coordinator told me that only 3 outside exhibits make it into the gallery each year.  The space is usually reserved for students and professors, so we're lucky to be there!

I hope you get a chance to see the show!  It's at the art gallery in the visual arts building through October 28.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Quilting with rulers

I tested a few rulers out on charity quilts a while back, but this is the first time I've used my new rulers designed by Jamie Wallen.

He suggested that sit down quilters like me spray a tacky product on the back side of the rulers to help hold them in place.  The one that he uses, and I bought, is 620 Adhesive from National Guards.

I just started using it, and can say that I like it so far.  Just a friendly hint, though.  It is temporary and wipes off with isopropyl alcohol.  HOWEVER, if you spray two rulers and the sticky sides touch, it becomes PERMANENT.  So be very careful about where you lay down and store your rulers so that the sticky sides are all facing one way.  And for the rulers that have two pieces, like the inside circles, spray only one piece.  Otherwise, when you put the two together on your machine, they will stick together in a way that you don't want.  I didn't read all of the instructions first, but luckily, I did read it while the spray was drying.  So I was able to remove the stickiness from one side of the inside circle pieces and averted  a disaster.  

I hope this gives you a hint for your quilting rulers too!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Long Arm Quilt Class

My first long arm quilting class!  Boersma's brought in Jamie Wallen to teach long-arm quilters how to use his rulers and designs.  I was thrilled to head over to McMinnville for a few days of classes and camping in our trailer in the middle of wine country.

I was afraid that the class would all be geared toward people with the stand up frame, and since I have the sit down version, the techniques are somewhat different.  But I was pleased with the instructions.  And I scored some rulers!  Oh yes, lots of them.

Thanks to one of my quilting friends, who lent me her rulers, I had an idea of what I wanted before I took the classes.  Jamie has developed quite an array of rulers both for quilting (1/4" thick) and for designing.  His company is called Quilter's Apothecary and you can order any time from him on line.  He has a lot of other cool gadgets too.  If  you get a chance to take a class from him, do it!  He's wonderful.

Here's what I bought: bobbin case dewarper, circles and ovals starter set, straight and curved starter set, one longer ditch ruler, can of tacky spray.  That should do it for now!

I also found some material in the quilt store that I couldn't pass with the class discount.